Repairs Ahoy

It has been two months since I’ve posted. Partly to do with the fact my net connection was down for a bit and I couldn’t get my WP password. Now that I’ve got a connection again another thing happened. Plus the muses took a hiatus.

The start switch on the dryer broke. You could twist it part way at one point and it’d start but then over time it just wouldn’t start anymore. I guess after 20 years of use it finally gave up the will to function.

So broke out the cordless drill with philips screw driver bit and proceed to remove a good 20+ screws to get the panel with the timers and switches down. Also disconnected the washer/dryer combo from the plug – not fun to work on something with 240VAC running through it. After that popped the knob off the start switch.

Now when they built this machine they did a few things which the engineer in me can appreciate. First – on the first cover I had to remove was an open ended envelope with the full documentation on the unit including electronic schematics, timing diagrams, etc.

Anyhow I removed the start switch. It’s made in the USA by General Electric – surprise, surprise, surprise. But then 20+ years ago most components were made in the Good Old U.S.A.

Next step look closely at the schematics – in it I observed the timer, the door switch and the start switch were all wired in series. Now the schematic shows the start switch as Normally open. But dissecting the switch and discovering the worn cam – it is a Normally Closed switch. And the switch was connected by slip-spade lugs.

What I did was put a 5-7mm thick bus bar in between the two wires, covered it with some shrink tubing, applied heat to the tubing and now the dryer works again.

Just a small change – if the door is open or the timer is on a stopped position the dryer is off. But close the door and move the timer to a timed position and it starts up.

Once again I count my education at the hands of engineers in my family and my love of electronics and electrical devices as a serious plus in my book. Plus mechanical things do not deter me.

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